It would feel very elegant to get rid of healing plate. But it is a pretty major change and one you aren't likely to see anytime soon.

The logical choice is to make Holy (and all paladin healing really) scale off of AP somehow. But then you also need to solve the mana pool and regen problems because melee dps rings don't have int or mp5 on them.

It's not an impossible problem to solve, but it is a big one. Changing melee druids to share a lot of gear with rogues has been tricky and something we are still working on.

I have the feeling that Ghostcrawler has this wrong, its not such a hard task in reality, we need to consider first that melee gear provides:

  • Strength
  • Stamina
  • Hit
  • Crit
  • Expertise

Now a caster need:

Int -> or rather a caster needs mana to cast, and the associated crit
Mana Regen -> to enable longer fights
Spell Power -> to scale heals
Crit -> to make heals big

My first suggestion would be the notion that Spell power isn't necessary, if it is necessary then simply moving the Protection talent, Guarded by Light, to low end Protection would solve the issues, then all Paladins have a base SP ~= 1/3rd of their stamina, this is a fairly known value for all gear.

In terms of a large mana pool, this can be solved with lower spell costs, or more effective heals, Illumination could provide 30% of spell cost back on cast (so a spell costs 70% of what it would for Prot/Ret, but you still need the mana to cast it in the first place), with a 100%/150% return on crit. Paladins then become independent of the idea of mana regeneration and become an active class, there is no real passive system for them.

Hit rating can be converted to crit, or indeed into a more effective heal, perhaps something along the lines of:

Precise Heals:
Hit rating increases your Holy Spell Power by {y}

Expertise is likely the most interesting point, imagine if instead of being a way to reduce the boss parry/ dodge it made some kind of HoT effect, or reduced casting times like haste.

Expertise lowers the cast time of your Holy Light and Flash of light spells by {y}s


Expertise grants your Holy Light spell a chance to apply a HoT for 100% of healing for 8s, at {y}%/expertise (since the soft cap is around 24, hard cap around 60 I would suggest 1/1.5% per point, so a fully capped [nearly impossible] healer would hit for 90% chance, a softcapped for 36%.)

Finally, we make heals scale from AP and SP (1:2 ratio or so?), and give Holy a talent like Ret has converting Str to SP.

We have the basis of a working system, Paladins now rely on melee stats, and as a consequence we can remove SP gear. What differentiates Retribution and Holy Paladins is then the mana regen and efficiency (Holy is at least 42% more efficient than Ret) and the variety and options of heals compared to DPS options.

Its not a lack of possibility for Paladins to become a melee healing class, it is the act of trying to make it complex, the mechanics are already in place to make mana a non-issue, or to make it work differently to other healers, all it needs is the will and vision of a designer.


SicSid said...

I say YAY to your above blog. I think it is not too hard to have holy scale with melee. Only draw back would be gear, another spec for people to steal tanking/dps gear. I recently switched to prot due to the fact that holy can barely solo quests, and I must say, prot is infinitely better for questing than holy. Not to mention I have fallen in love with prot now.

I think your ideas are great, hopefully something along those lines will be implemented.

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